Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, says the maritime sector has become an attraction for investors, and that the nation was beginning to see another opportunity through which it could harness its vast resources.
The SGF, who spoke at the NIMASA Corporate Dinner and Merit Awards held weekend in Lagos, said the development was as a result of government effort at repositioning the sector for economic growth through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Mustapha, who was represented by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, congratulated and urged the award recipients as well as industry stakeholders to remain focused in supporting the Federal Government’s drive to take Nigeria’s economy to greater height.
“The DG and his team and the Board are doing well in NIMASA. They have transformed the organisation. I will also like to congratulate the Minister of Transportation because it is through his guidance and supervision that all these transformations have taken place. He is an action man, somebody that makes things happen. I will like to congratulate all the award winners; you should all keep up the good work,” Mustapha said.
The Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, expressed delight in the achievements the maritime sector had attained in recent times and applauded the leading role NIMASA was playing to ensure an all-inclusive administration of the sector.
“We are proud of the modest achievements the maritime sector has attained in recent times. NIMASA has continued to take the lead by providing direction for operators in the industry. On our part, we will continue to support the agency’s drive to reposition the Nigerian maritime sector,” Dangote said.
Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, said the NIMASA maritime awards ceremony will go a long way in propelling industry players to make more effort towards achieving a robust maritime sector.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, said the maritime industry remains the backbone of international trade and that the Nigerian maritime sector has made remarkable achievements in the last two years.
He noted that despite the challenges being faced in the sector, the stakeholders’ commitment, professionalism and resilience are the reasons the agency is doing well.
“The Nigerian maritime sector is on a journey. We are not where we are going yet, hence we need the continuous support of our stakeholders in our quest to realize a robust maritime sector, so that we can compete favourably with our counterparts in other maritime climes,” he said.
“We cannot do it alone, we will continue to collaborate and partner our stakeholders so that we can fully realize our mandates of promoting and regulating shipping activities in Nigeria.”
The high point was the presentation of a plaque and cheque of one million naira to the agency’s best staff of 2018; Abraham Iseghohi.
The agency also bestowed awards on outstanding maritime companies; Maersk Nigeria Limited, Gulf Agency Company (GAC) Nigeria Ltd, Charkins Maritime and Offshore Safety Centre among others, alongside some of its staff, who were said to have demonstrated commitment to the sector over the years.